As an undergraduate Kadaicia-Loi Dunkley ’15 majored in Asian studies to explore her family’s Chinese and Jamaican roots, and she was inspired by her family again to pursue a career in finance and real estate. Dunkley is earning a master’s degree in business administration at Columbia Business School.
Dunkley wants to help her grandfather, who has a trade-school education and invests in real estate, to avoid bad deals. And she wants to follow in his footsteps when it comes to pursuing not just deals but deals that promote the community good. She’s seen her grandfather work for and with the people in communities where he does business.
“Long term, I’m interested in using real estate to really impact communities. I feel like when real estate is used in the right way and thoughtful way it can transform communities,” Dunkley explains. “Growing up in Brooklyn I’ve seen a lot of transformations, not so much for good, so I’m interested in doing that and maybe having my own fund at some point.”
Even as she majored in Asian studies and learned Mandarin, Dunkley nurtured an interest in finance, so she spent a semester in Hamilton’s New York City Program, gaining internships and experience in that field. In her first few years after Hamilton, Dunkley’s jobs included assistant vice president in the chief investment office at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and project manager for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s Retail Real Estate Team.
Dunkley thinks that her Asian studies major and liberal arts pedigree give her an edge in her chosen field. Her Hamilton experiences have gone over well in interviews, and her ability to articulate her thoughts and positions makes her stand out among “straight finance” people, she says. “And I think a lot of that has to do with that at Hamilton you’re always pushed to really think, and think critically, and be able to analyze. And that’s something that I respect so much,” Dunkley says.
“Even throughout all the different jobs and rotations that I’ve had, being able to really do due diligence and then present is something that a lot of people do not do. And at Hamilton you have to do that all the time. They were kind of making you a leader before you even know it, which I thought was awesome in terms of taking advantage of the liberal arts and being able to actually apply it.”